Iteration in Mixed-Methods Research Designs Combining Experiments and Fieldwork
Verónica Pérez Bentancur y Lucía Tiscornia, Profesora Investigadora Titular de la División de Estudios Internacionales del CIDE, escribieron el artículo Iteration in Mixed-Methods Research Designs Combining Experiments and Fieldwork en la revista Sociological Methods & Research.
Experimental designs in the social sciences have received increasing attention due to their power to produce causal inferences. Nevertheless, experimental research faces limitations, including limited external validity and unrealistic treatments. We propose combining qualitative fieldwork and experimental design iteratively—moving back-and-forth between elements of a research design—to overcome these limitations. To properly evaluate the strength of experiments researchers need information about the context, data, and previous knowledge used to design the treatment. To support our argument, we analyze 338 pre-analysis plans submitted to the Evidence in Governance and Politics repository in 2019 and the design of a study on public opinion support for punitive policing practices in Montevideo, Uruguay. The paper provides insights about using qualitative fieldwork to enhance the external validity, transparency and replicability of experimental research, and a practical guide for researchers who want to incorporate iteration to their research designs.
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